Lance Armstrong has finally decided to come clean. After years of passionate denial, the man had backed himself into a corner where he had no other alternative but to come clean. He admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France. Still, I would like to think Armstrong’s confession was not news to most Americans. Many of us have long suspected that Lance was on the juice, yet we cheered every time he won. After all, he is one of us. He is a winner, and we love him.
So, instead of self pity and isolation, poor Lance has embarked on an apology and reconciliation tour, to repair his tattered image. No doubt, this must be the toughest time in his life. However, shameful this might appears, I Applaud him, and I pray for him. I just wish he had done this sooner. My only hope is he will use this experience to turn his life over to the true and living God. Because even though, his actions were despicable and disgraceful, he is not different from anyone of us. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Roman 3:23).
Sin is the reason Lance Armstrong cheated, and sin is the reason Jesus died. There is a way out for all of us (sinners). Jesus says, “I am the Way the truth and the Life. No one come to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Further, Jesus also directs us to, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
It is a fact that lightening travels the path of least resistance. Similarly, it is not a secret that humans like to get things the easy way. Like many of us, Lance Armstrong chose the wide gate and the broad way. It brought him much success, fame and fortune, but in the end all was for naught.
It is extremely easy for any Christian to get distracted by the glamour and glitz of this world. This is especially true when things are going smoothly. He tends to take his eyes off the Christian journey and gravitate towards secular norms, thus becoming complacent. Whereas before, he thanked God for everything; now he takes all the credit, look in the mirror and pat himself on the shoulders.
Still, while I think complacency is preventable, living in a materialistic society such as America, makes it all too easy to get lulled into complacency. The Patriarch David knew a thing or two about this. Acts 13:22 states the following: “After removing Saul, God made David king over Israel. God testified about him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’” However, success would change David. Despite all the accolades and admiration from God, David, like Adam and, Eve got distracted by the lust of his eyes and sinned.
It seems the key to keep focus on the path God mapped out for us is to be lowly before Him at all times–in feast and famine. Whenever a human being acknowledges that he is nothing without God, then it is not hard to be humble. It is not surprising that some of the most loyal members in the body of Christ are those who are humble, mostly the poor. These are people who more often than not do not know from where the next meal comes, yet their steadfastness and commitment to serve God is unyielding. They know what it is to trust and depend on God for everything.
Father in heaven, I pray thou will shield me against complacency. Let me be like Job, a man who never faltered in plenty or want. Lord, help me to focus on the path your father have mapped out for me and let me be humble at all times. Amen!
- Humble Yourself and Go!* 2 Chronicles 7:12 – 22 [KJV] | Bible Resources (spiceofyourlife.wordpress.com)
- The Lord Knoweth Them That Are His (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com)
Shootings like the one in Newtown, Connecticut have become common place in the American society. Still, every time a maniac goes on an ego trip and massacred innocent people it is increasingly difficult to come up with a motive. The question is always why. Why would anyone in their right frame of mind committed such despicable and horrendous acts?
The Newtown massacre hits close to home. I happen to live in Connecticut, and while I do not live in Newtown, I feel divinely connected to the victims, especially the defenceless kids. That is the reason I get mad when I ask myself this question: “What on God‘s earth did twenty innocent kids, ages 6-7 years did that deserve to have their lives cut short senselessly?” At the same time, I am fully aware that we will never know the answer–the alleged shooter is dead. However, as is customary in mass murders, so-called experts believe mental health is a factor as well as the lack of stricter gun control.
It is déjà vu all over again. Another mass shooting has occurred, and the question of stricter gun control comes up. We have seen this movie before. Have we not? One can bet his last dollar that, as soon as the news media turned its TV cameras and microphones off and the anti-gun passion has died down the issue will be gentle swept under the carpet. Gun rights activists and lobbyists have done a marvelous job of neutralizing the argument for stricter gun control. Their strategy of ‘no comment until we look at the facts’ is unadorned but hugely effective. Nevertheless, no one with a heart and a soul can truthfully deny that we have a gun problem that needs discussing.
The problem of guns and gun violence is not a new phenomenon in America. Even though, if one listens to and reads some of the comments about the Newtown massacre one would think otherwise. The only new trend in gun violence over the past five years or so as it relates to mass shooting is the drastic change in the locations and the faces of victims. Where as in former years the victims of mass shootings were mostly minority, gang bangers and drug dealers who lived and operated in urban communities, today the victims also include white Americans who lived in suburban communities.
All in all, it is time to have a serious national discussion on guns and gun violence. The scourge of gun violence is no longer an urban problem. It is everybody’s problem. Therefore, politicians can no longer look the other because of fear of loosing their seats. They must stand firm and do the right thing. I do not know how, or what but for the sake of those twenty kids who died in Newtown and every other victim of gun violence–do something!!!
May the souls of the dead rest in peace!!
There is so much for which I am thankful. My blessings are many and endless. I am thankful for every waking hour, every breath I take and every step I make.
I especially thank God for His saving grace. His love and His mercy. He looked beyond my faults and saw my needs and pulled me from the mire clay. I thank Him for spared life, my family and friends, those who are near and far, and those on Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress. I thank Him for my neighbors and co-workers. I thank Him for governments; Federal, State and Local. I thank Him for the utility companies, and the mail carrier. I thank Him for my church family, and I thank Him for my employer, who took a chance on me and gave me a job. Thank you Lord for everything.
Finally, my brethren, Just like the pilgrims were in early autumn of 1621, I am particularly thankful to God today for the opportunity to live in the greatest country on earth. Despite its sordid past and its problems at home and abroad, the USA is still a beacon, and I would not exchange it for any other country…Happy Thanksgiving everyone!